Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giving credit where credit is due.

Once I used a Spanish artist's work without permission, although I posted proper attribution and linked to the site of origin, which in turn provided information on the artist, including contact info.  The artist was not at all pleased, simply because I never asked permission.  I was a little offended, but I understood that his art is his intellectual property.  I took the artwork down from my post and guaranteed him I would never link to him or reference his art again.  Ever.
I am not so protective of my own work, although I once noted that the Institute of Carmelite Studies used an icon I did of OL of Mt. Carmel with St.s Teresa and John for a booklet or catalog they printed a few years ago.  I never said anything, although I was a bit offended credit for the art work had not been attributed to me.  I figure if someone is going to appropriate another person's work for their own purposes, they at least should have the courtesy to acknowledge the source, if not the creator of the work.  Especially if they are solicitors and using the work for profit or financial support.
The art you use is part of your post just as much as any quote or material from another source that you link to.
Many people depend good photography as well as fine art to illustrate their blog posts, albeit without any attribution whatsoever - often times failing to provide even a simple title of the work.  I have learned to at least identify the art I use and try to link to the source whenever I can.  The only exception may be photos I sometimes re-work in paint, those in public domain, or those whose source I want to keep private for future use.  I do not always identify works of art that are self-explanatory, easily recognizable and part of public domain - which includes well known master works, photos of entertainment personalities, generic images of popular culture, marketing, and so on.
Anyway - the above painting - now used with permission - Mosh 1 is by Dan Witz, an artist whose work I admire, but whose name I never knew until today.


  1. T - have I offended? Email

  2. PML - Oh heavens no! You have done nothing to offend. I'm not even offended - I'm just talking about bloggers - a couple of blogs I frequent use artwork without attribution - and I find it annoying - did my post come off harsh? I didn't mean it to - just a matter of fact statement as far as I'm concerned.

    On the other hand not a few bloggers will link to their sources as far as text, and neglect art and photography recognition. Drives me crazy.

    One guy (JPS) usually posts people without identifying who they are.

    A certain religious never identifies his art by title, artist, much less source.

    Another blogger uses stuff all the time without crediting the source. And like an often criticized priest blogger - some of these types ask for donations on their own blogs. Nothing wrong with that, but if you're gonna work it - work it.

  3. bounced back again...hmmm...interesting..

    okay ... message left under trash can never cross street left, four blocks from phone booth, near oak tree with green leaves, behind Slippery Cafe ... and if message isn't found ... watch your back ... oh, watch for those blue lights too ... bye bye

  4. I do attribution when I have the sources. To be fair, I saw this pic on another blog without any attribution and such is that I am not a physic I couldn't use an attribute myself.

    Of course you don;t have to donate if they paypal button is irritating. Its not expected... your comments are reward enough.

    Your be-otch.

  5. michael r.3:45 PM

    Good post, Terry. I think I took a course on copyright law, many years ago when I got my master's degree in library science. I remember very little of it, but I'm always amazed at what goes on with the blogs, as you suggest. It's like everyone must think that anything that appears on the internet is absolutely free to anyone who wants to take it. One of the problems, I believe, is that an image appears in one place without proper credit, and the next guy assumes it's in the public domain, or perhaps thinks it must be ok to use it since no one is claiming ownership of it. Perhaps that is what happened with your painting of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel? Did they know who painted it?

  6. +JMJ+

    Ooooh! Blind items! I love 'blog gossip! =P

    Seriously, I know I'm guilty as charged, though that has less to do with malice than with just not knowing the rules. When I use a book cover, album jacket or movie poster, it will be easy enough to look up the people behind it, so I don't think to put a link back to the site where I found it--which is often also another blog whose author probably made the same assumption.

    As for art, when a painting is really famous (e.g. Mona Lisa), I just don't think to name it or put in a link. There are also times when I don't know either the painting's name or the artist's name--again mostly because I found the painting on a site that didn't say so.

    Anyway, I can see why it would be annoying to an artist, and you've convinced me to change my blogging habits from here on . . . at least where art is concerned. (Book covers, album jackets and movie posters seem to me to be fair game--but if I'm wrong about that, I'll be glad to hear it.)

  7. Enbretheliel - In going through my own posts I realized I do the same thing - so I'm taking my own advice.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.